Our first concern must be whether the traditional database system can meet our current needs for sharing information. In case it does, the answer is that we do not need a new database system – a blockchain database – that would offer faster and safer transactions. Let’s see by addressing the main issues of current databases. The number one issue, that our current database systems face, is centralization. Most of the existing databases are run by a central authority that manages the permissions and access rights of users. The problem is that in such a network users always feel they have someone above their heads.
Every user of the network, bottom-up or top-down will never feel like they are the ones who run the database. This statement might sound too radical, but it can cause a number of issues. Such issues are the productivity of users, trustworthiness within the network, as well as the liability of information.
But is it only about centralization?
Of course not! Current databases are not using cryptography to verify transactions within the network. This absence of such technology raises a significant amount of security concerns of “How can a database be protected?“ A very important one is the safety of data and confidentiality. This is a hot topic with many aspects to be reviewed. We will just mention that there have been a lot of cyberattacks on databases where data has been lost. Therefore, we can see that there are several issues and inaccuracies within current database systems that need to be addressed. And this is what Satoshi Nakamoto is trying to fulfill with blockchain.
We do not say it offers a perfect world where everything smooths better but it is a reality that Blockchain Technology initiations have improved a great range of database problems. First of all, blockchain technology of Distributed Ledger (DL) and Smart Contracts (SC) offers improved security. It is remarkable that many blockchain networks have never been hacked. The connected nodes offer millions of security layers. Always in a ledger system, there will be many people involved. If they are not ready to trust a third party and they want to keep their data private, a Permissioned Blockchain Network (PBN) offers a great opportunity for trustworthiness.
Accessing these networks is restricted meaning that participants need to obtain an invitation or permission to join. However, if there are redundant copies to be kept in multiple distributed computers, a public blockchain sounds like the best choice. But despite the nature of the application, the features of this new technology offer the blockchain decentralization of the network. Users can transact and share data directly with each other without the need for an intermediary or an authority…
Of course, a blockchain database has a number of disadvantages and cons which need to be addressed such as The Hurdle of Energy Consumption of Mining. It is a very serious aspect that environmentalists ring the bell on and one that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, as we currently go through the climate change crisis.
Another very important issue is the lack of integration within legacy systems. All the traditional database systems were using different application formats and models for storing data and were working in isolation. Most of these systems are tightly packed and have very few models of integration with blockchain. As a result, the technology does not have the infrastructure to support integration with other databases by its nature. The point is that blockchain is not perfect but it offers a great number of facilities with a wide range of benefits for those who choose to implement it.